North Carolina Supreme Court race headed to recount; fewer than 400 votes between candidates

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)– A statewide recount of the Supreme Court race in North Carolina is set to begin later this week.

According to a news release from the State Board of Elections, the recount will likely take several days in some counties, and some county boards of elections have to complete their recounts by Nov. 25.

Wake County Board of Elections tells CBS 17 they will begin counting Thursday. Rockingham County is counting between 70 and 75 provisional ballots that should be posted later Tuesday.

This will be North Carolina’s first statewide recount since the 2016 state auditor’s race, which confirmed the results in that contest, according to the State Board of Elections.

The recount was requested by incumbent Supreme Court Justice Cheri Beasley (D).

Beasley sent a letter to the State Board of Elections on Tuesday.

The data from the State Board of Elections shows Beasley trails Republican Paul Newby by 366 votes out of nearly 5.4 million cast in the race for the state’s highest court, putting the race within the 10,000-vote threshold for a recount. 

Beasley’s campaign manager Benjamin Woods released a statement following Tuesday’s developments that read:

“The race for Chief Justice will not be over until every single vote has been counted. Our team has officially requested a statewide recount and will be filing protest petitions across the state to ensure over 2,000 absentee and provisional ballots that were wrongfully rejected are included in the final tally. This race is far from decided, and we look forward to ensuring the counting process continues so that every voice is heard.”

Benjamin Woods

Another race that was closely watched as a potential recount was the attorney general.

Incumbent Josh Stein (D) holds a lead of more than 13,000 votes over Republican Jim O’Neill on Tuesday.

“We cannot express enough gratitude for the hard work of our county boards of elections, who continue to ensure accurate and fair results in this election,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “Recounts are an important part of the elections process that help guarantee voters’ wishes are realized in the closest of contests.”

On Monday, the State Board of Elections issued guidance on the recount process for the county boards of elections.

All 100 county boards of elections will recount the ballots by running them through tabulators, a news release said. The counties are responsible for the recount costs.

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